Conservation: Daily Routines We Could Stand To Improve
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For the sake of conservation, there are probably a wide variety of daily habits and routines we could amend and in some cases do without. Just because our parents taught us to do it and their parents taught them to do it, doesn’t mean we need to follow suit. Conservation has to start at home and what better way to start than to review your daily habits and routines?
a) Brushing your teeth: Now I’m not saying to skip brushing your teeth all together, but there are simple actions you can take that can promote conservation while brushing. Turn off the water while you are actively brushing your teeth. Use baking soda or make your own organic toothpaste, instead of using store bought toothpaste.
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b) Washing dishes: Skip the “pre-wash” before putting your dishes into the dishwasher. Just load your dishes in and once your dishwasher is full, run the dishwasher. Don’t run a cycle if it’s only half full. If you have to choose between hand washing and using the dishwasher, opt for the dishwasher. You’ll save time, water and money.
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If you don’t have a dishwasher, use one side of the sink to scrub and the other side to rinse. Add water to the sink, then use biodegradable or vegetable-based soap and elbow grease to get your dishes clean.
c) Transportation: Many people are stuck in the same routine day in, day out when it comes to how they get around. Why not switch it up? Conserve a little. Instead of driving to work on your own, car-pool. Rather than fighting traffic and wasting gas, take the train. Instead of driving to the store for one or two items, walk or ride your bike.
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d) Washing Clothes: Just like with the dishwasher, only run a cycle when it is full. Use cold water instead of warm or hot. Your clothes get just as clean without having to pay to heat your water. If you can, hang your clothes up to dry. Although I wouldn’t recommend that in the middle of winter.
Here are a few more tried and true tips for earth-friendly laundry.
e) Taking a shower or bath: People tend to use less water when taking a shower than when taking a bath. If you time yourself, you can be in and out of the shower in no time flat. Another good tip is to turn the water off while you soap up. No reason to have water running down the drain if you aren’t using it.
f) Putting Gray Water to Use: When it comes to “gray water”, people need to get out of the habit of tossing the baby out with the bathwater. In other words, rather than watching the water go down the drain, there are ways you can put gray water to good use.
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g) Don’t Simply Turn Off, Unplug: Over the years the idea of convenience has sometimes taken a front seat to conservation. There are many things we leave plugged in for convenience sake. But in all honesty, it’s really not THAT convenient to do so.
Take the various appliances you have on your kitchen counter, in addition to turning them off when you are done using them, unplug them. Keep computers, printers, stereos, etc connected to power cords and use the power strip to turn these electronics off.
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Here are a few more energy-saving tips.
h) Unplug your kids: The same basic theory applies for your kids, esp in terms of unplugging them. It doesn’t do a kid any good to keep them “plugged in” to the television, video games, etc. They need to get out and do things. They want to be creative, do projects, they need exercise, need to run around, need to burn off their stored up energy, etc. So conserve your power and use theirs…unplug your kids!
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Now we all know there are many different daily routines we follow. The ones I listed here are just a few basic ones that might help get you thinking about your daily routines. So, take a few moments to review your own. What simple ways could you improve your daily routine in favor of conservation?
I wish we could do more with gray water – especially at hotels, restaurants, etc. Why do we need potable water for our toilets?! Great post – lots of room for improvement….
Excellent ideas, Tara! I just had a great conversation about unplugging. We are so detached from nature and the outdoors. Get them kids AND adults out side! 🙂